Gunfights at close range often result in both participants being hit. It can take time for bullet wounds to take effect. In a Lakeland, Florida shooting Wednesday night, we don’t know the calibers, other than both participants were using handguns. The intended victim, Virgis Canteen, is 43. The 14-year-old gang member, Davion Smith, had been convicted of armed robbery twice since he was 12 and the two parties had a history. Canteen had accused Davion Smith of burglarizing his apartment. Both participants were hit several times . . .
Canteen also had a handgun and, according to Canteen, the teen began shooting at him first, striking him several times in the “upper extremities,” police spokesman Sgt. Gary Gross said in a report.
Canteen said he returned fire, striking the teen “numerous times.”
If you are a hardened criminal by age 14, the chances of rehabilitation are very small. In the case of Smith, it’s now zero. The 14-year-old is now dead and Canteen is in the hospital, condition unknown. That seems a preferable outcome to Canteen being killed and Smith continuing to victimize innumerable other people for an unknown period.
We don’t know what Virgis Canteen’s history is. A comment at theledger.com says that he was robbed and shot in his home four years ago. Another comment says that was at a different place. One neighbor says:
“He looks out for everybody,” she said. “He didn’t bother nobody.”
Davion Smith’s brother, Bayshawn Kelly, was shot and wounded in April in a drive-by that was gang-related. He was arrested later this year as a suspect in another drive-by. His cousin, Shyhiem Morris, was wounded in May. It sounds as though Northwest Lakeland is firmly in the “modern frontier” of fatherless gang members.
©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.